By Benjamin Njoku
Ace stand-up comedian, Ali Baba, Bayo Bankole, and upwardly mobile Yoruba actress cum producer, Dayo Amusa, are some of the personalities that added spice and galamour to the inaugural convocation ceremony of the Helen Paul Theatre and Film Academy, HPTFA which held last weekend.
During the event which commenced with a Glo-inspired Green Carpet, students of the institution dazzled the crowd with the scintillating presentation of ‘Life Burial’, a stage play written by Helen Paul.
‘Life Burial,’ according to Helen, is a story of repeated betrayal of love, endless forgiveness and a covetous girl in search of a life of the society’s high class. “It is only important that theatre is used to correct the ills of the society. ‘Life Burial’, though a little altered from the way it has been written by me, portrays all of those issues. The Bretchian style has been used in the directorial approach with little elements of realism altogether to aid the understanding of the play.”
The cast of the play included Olowofela Johnson, Ntoka Francis, Rafiu Okiri, Mercy Ndubuisi, David Okunola, Obiazi Onyemechi, Aduke Oladapo and Christopher Isibor to mention a few.
Ali Baba, who was thrilled by the performance, promised to sponsor the second public presentation of the play at the Terra Kulture in December, a kind gesture that was greeted with loud cheers from the audience.
Helen said, ‘Life Burial’ is inspired by happenstances at a burial ceremony she was contracted to anchor somewhere in Ibadan, southwest Nigeria, some years ago.
The event was heralded by a lot of side attractions, which included a novelty football match between students of HPTFA and their counterparts at the Lagos State University’s Theatre-Arts Department.